Fantasy Careers is a blog series where I interview characters from fantasy books about their interesting jobs and unusual careers.
Sara: *Sara grins* Hi, I’m Sara. I call Ketewah home probably about half the year, and I travel throughout the Western Villages of Amelorica the other half.
Elise: It’s great to have you with us today. What does your job involve?
Sara: Well, I can’t get into a HUGE amount of detail, since it involves Ketewah’s defenses and could leave my village vulnerable. But I’m a Senior Defender, which means I’m a Jill of many hats, or something like that. When I’m in the village I’m either training recruits, helping to update the defenses, or sitting at one of the watchtowers. My job involves travel and guarding our villagers while they go on trades throughout the Western Villages.
We’re nowhere near as stuffy as the people in the Mutant Free Zone cities. While we’re at each village, I talk to everybody. I am not a solitary person, hate that stuff. So, I get on with the other Defenders and we share the latest Scavenger attacks, because they’re the bane of our existence… well, the ones that don’t call Ketewah home are anyway. If we’re in a village for longer than a few days, me and the other Defenders will teach different training techniques and have sparring matches.
Elise: It sounds like a busy lifestyle! What’s your area of expertise?
Sara: Kaos says my expertise is running my mouth and pulling pranks.
Sara: Draper, Kaos’s brother, says I bring people together because I care and am interested in everyone. *Sara taps her fingers on her leg* Oh, you mean like work… I’m a scaving witch with hand-to-hand and most weapons.
Elise: So, what does a typical day in your job involve?
Sara: If I’m home, it could involve checking our various Panji traps as well electronic alerts around Ketewah and training other Defenders. And repelling Scavenger attacks. They’ve been hitting our village hard since we’ve been interrupting their “trades”. Which is code for each installation swapping out women and children for breeding and human testing. My group has been rescuing them and now we’ve become targets.
Elise: Wow, they sound like nasty pieces of work. What part of the job do you enjoy most?
Sara: My favorite part is killing off those scavengers and saving who we can. And talking. I love meeting new people, it’s how I met Balthier. *whispers* But don’t tell any of those stuff shirted Zers because Bali is a Bandit.
I also like watching Kaos, he’s in charge of the Defenders even though he used to be a Scavenger. He teaches us how to fight them and what their weaknesses are and I make sure he’s not boring when he does it.
Elise: Yes, I can see it’s pretty satisfactory to get rid of scum like that. What are your fellow villagers like?
Sara: My best friend Birch and her bonded, Zev, are Foragers who help with the defenses during the winter months. MeleViolent L’Kaos is my hunky boss, who was bred to be a Leader within the Scavenger Installations. He’s a badass with his khopesh and short sword. Then there’s Devon, he’s Birch’s brother, and my prank cohort who also helps the Defenders. His main task is to make compounds and blow stuff up, he can’t fight to save his life. And if he tells you he can, run the other way because it’s probably a prank about to go horribly wrong.
Elise: What kind of training or experience did you have to do to be a Defender?
Sara: We’re tested as we grow up in Ketewah to see what fits us best. I tested as an ambassador and defender. My protective instincts are off the charts, so I chose the Defender path. But my love of people was just as strong, so I travel and help form solid relationships with the other villages. The open communication has made the villages stronger and able to actually repel the scavengers better with fewer casualties.
Elise: That’s a pretty good combo then. How long have Defenders been in your communities?
Sara: Before the Dying, there were police and other forms of law enforcement across America. After the Dying, what was left of the military and law enforcement gathered in Virginia, taking all the weapons, while the rest of the country fell to the Warlords. It took centuries and a lot of battles to free ourselves from the Warlords. Defenders were the ones who freed the citizens and killed those that willingly followed the Warlords. When the last Warlord fell, the survivors renamed the country Amelorica.
So those who protect have always been known as Defenders within the villages. Within the MFZ, the four cities to the east that guard the Chasm, they have police and military with guns. Defenders don’t use guns, they’re against the law. We use shockguns, and modified weapons such as swords, arrows, whips and staffs.
Elise: So then, is this job your dream job, and if not, what is?
Sara: My dream job would probably be dancing and talking. But those don’t bring in the geldchips. Achieving the title of Senior Defender is probably a close second.
Elise: Ah, it’s often the case that we have to settle for a more practical job than we’d like. Such is life. At least you enjoy the job! To finish on a lighter note, do you have any funny stories about your job?
Sara: Not about my job, but there was an incident beyond Ketewah’s wall when me and Devon were training the rescued children on how to evade recapture if the scavengers overun us.
We didn’t want the children to feel pain, so Devon came up with balloons filled with dye, needless to say we all had fun until Kaos came and broke it up. He was not amused to see some of his trainees were blue.
Then there’s the prank war Devon, Tyr and I are involved in. Tyr won the last round by greasing my balance beam and leaving a Klasfish in Devon’s UTV. Devon’s ride still reeks. Unfortunately, our retaliation missed Tyr and caught Kaos. I swear the man has absolutely no sense of humor. Which is weird, since Tyr was trained as a scavenger too and he’s hilarious.
Elise: It sounds like you have a lot of fun sometimes! So, if I were to come and stay, could you train me to be a Defender?
Sara: Most trainees we start them out with playing the virtual game called GravBall so they can get their agility up. But if you want to move onto the more advanced stuff we could loan you some crossbows and bolts then leave you to it. Just make sure you don’t shoot your foot–we had a recruit who thought he could handle the bolts and almost put a hole through his foot. I told him it could’ve been worse…he could’ve shot himself in the butt.
Elise: It sounds a bit out of my comfort zone to be honest! Maybe I’ll just stop by for coffee… well, thanks very much for joining me today, Sara, it’s been a pleasure.
Can her free-spirit shatter his defenses and win his heart?
Sara Dover never met a stranger that didn’t become a friend, until Kaos. With him she never seems to get it right, not matter how hard she tries. And she tries endlessly. In him she sees her perfect partner, if she could just breakdown his rigid control. Sara is sure behind those thick walls lurks an untapped passion and she is just as sure that she’s the perfect woman to tap it.
MeleViolent L’Kaos likes everything, and everyone, to fall in line with his orders. Designed in a Scavenger Installation to bring chaos to the human race, Kaos himself hates disorder. Until he crosses paths with Sara, an impish villager who loves pranks and seems to thrive in the middle of mayhem. If he could force her to lose her spontaneity she would be the perfect partner for him.
At least, that was Kaos’s thought until the Western Scavenger installation kidnaps Sara. The longer she’s gone the more he realizes what he, and the village he now calls home, has lost. If given another chance, he’s willing to do anything in his power to make Sara his. But first he needs to save her before the installation kills her.
CeeRee Fields currently lives in Groningen, the Netherlands with her husband and cat. Since she was born in Alabama and moved to the Netherlands, Dutch is not her first language which gets her into mischief in various stores around town when she tries to speak it.
She loves writing, building worlds that her characters can explore and break if they feel the need. Action, adventure and love are her favorite things. And when stuff gets blown up who says the guy is the only one who gets to do it?